Commonwealth Scholarship Commission: Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries)

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan is one of the largest and most prestigious international scholarship schemes in the world. The "Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries)" support full-time doctoral study and are co-funded by the UK Department for Education in conjunction with UK universities to support world class research.

Applications open

1 Jun 2023

Applications closed

1 Sep 2023

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

General allowance
Tuition fee exemption
Rental assistance
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student
International student

Total value

100% fee remission and at least $75,000

Applicable study areas

All study areas

Number of scholarships awarded


  • "A Commonwealth Scholarship gave me the opportunity to undertake a doctorate in modern history at Balliol College, Oxford from 1997 to 2001. My research focuses on the interpersonal networks that sustained Britain’s nineteenth-century empire, so studying at the University of Oxford meant joining a cosmopolitan community of postgraduate students and faculty working in the same field, while enjoying access to the archives and libraries that were central to my research. My first book, Colonial Connections 1815-1845, emerged from my doctoral research, as did a lectureship at the University of Sheffield, and then a position at Royal Holloway, University of London. The influence of the work I did in Oxford is still clear in my more recent work on settler colonialism, imperial governance, humanitarianism, and indigenous responses to empire. In 2018, I returned to the University of Melbourne to work in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies."
    Read Prof. Zoë Laidlaw's story
  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

    • Be a citizen of or have been granted refugee status by an eligible Commonwealth country
    • Show evidence that you are permanently resident in an eligible Commonwealth country.
    • Hold a first degree of at least upper second class (2:1) honours standard, or a second-class degree and a relevant postgraduate qualification (usually a Master’s degree) by the time of submitting your scholarship application
    • Not be registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, at a UK university before January 2024
    • Not have commenced and be currently registered for a PhD, or an MPhil leading to a PhD, in your home country or elsewhere
    • Hold an unconditional offer from your chosen university/universities listed on your Commonwealth Scholarship Commission online application, at the point of being notified that you have been provisionally selected for an award by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission

    Please see the website for the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries) for further details on eligibility.

    Selection criteria

    Applications are considered according to the following selection criteria:
    - Academic merit of the candidate
    - Quality of the proposal
    - Potential of the candidate to lead in the pursuit of global excellence in research and knowledge

    Further information is available at the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries) website.

  • Application process

    Applications are submitted to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission using their online application system. Information on how to register and use the application system is available at the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission website.

    For enquiries, please use the Commission's contact form.

  • Variations of this award

    For Australian citizens the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission also offers Rutherford Fellowships for highly skilled researchers to spend one or two years at an eligible UK university or higher education institution conducting postdoctoral research.

    Citizens from other nations are also eligible for other Commonwealth Scholarship Commission funding. Please see the Commission's information for applicants.

What are the benefits?

Each scholarship provides:

  • A stipend of £1,347 - £1,652 per month
  • Approved airfare from your home country to the UK and return at the end of your award (the CSC will not reimburse the cost of fares for dependants, nor usually the cost of journeys made before your award is finally confirmed)
  • Approved tuition fees
  • Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the UK or overseas
  • Provision towards the cost of fieldwork undertaken overseas (usually the cost of one economy class return airfare to your fieldwork location), where approved
  • Paid mid-term visit (airfare) to your home country (unless you have claimed (or intend to claim) spouse and/or child allowances during your scholarship, or have received a return airfare to your home country for fieldwork)

Further information is available at the Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries) website.

The information listed here is subject to change without notice. Where we have listed information about jointly run scholarships programs, please also see our partners' websites. Information describing the number and value of scholarships awarded is indicative.